The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

How TIC Measurement Drives TIC Change

January 26, 2021 / by Steve Brown, PsyD

Organizations often see measurement and program evaluation as a luxury or something extra to do - they'll do it if they have extra cash or if it's required by a grant or a change package they purchase. It’s viewed as something that will tell them at the end whether the intervention moved the needle.

What they fail to recognize is that the process of measurement is an intervention in and of itself and it can drive the change process. It does not just tell you - at the end - that you moved the needle; it moves the needle along the way. 

Here’s an example:

For discussion, we will talk about the ways that using the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale, specifically the Online ARTIC, can drive and cement implementation of trauma-informed care (TIC).

The ARTIC Scale is the most widely cited and used measure of TIC with roughly 30,000 administrations globally since its launch in 2016. It measures professional attitudes favorable or less favorable toward trauma-informed care. The Online ARTIC enables organizations to easily administer the measure online and get automated dashboard reports for both the organization and individual staff.

  • Just by completing the ARTIC as a baseline assessment, staff begin to understand what TIC is and the kinds of beliefs that align with it.

  • Being asked by leadership to complete a survey measure communicates to staff that leaders are serious about TIC change.

  • Including all staff in the assessment process send the message – to all – that they matter and that all staff are an important part of the TIC change process.

  • When the organization and individual staff get reports with scores soon after they take the measure, it provides motivation for change. The organization as a whole, and individual staff, consider why they scored as they did and how to do better.

  • The ARTIC reports provide global and specific scores with recommendations so organizations know WHAT to do next to further foster TIC. They can tweak their messaging or target certain job roles or departments that are struggling.

  • When the ARTIC is given multiple times, the organization and individual staff can see if their scores improve over time further motivating them toward change.

  • While the individual reports are confidential, staff can use them to create professional development goals that can be supported through supervision, training and coaching, further driving trauma-informed attitude and behavior change.

In short, let's reframe program evaluation as not a burden that we do if we have to, but rather as an integral part of the change process itself. 

To view a live Online ARTIC demonstration, schedule with an ARTIC Consultant.

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Tags: Measurement & Research

Steve Brown, PsyD

Written by Steve Brown, PsyD

Steve Brown, Psy.D., is the Director of the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. A clinical psychologist, he is a primary architect of TSI’s internationally-recognized whole-system change process to trauma-informed care. He is a co-creator, with Dr. Courtney Baker, of the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale, one of the first psychometric measures of TIC. He trains professionals nationally on psychological trauma and trauma-informed care. In addition to being a psychologist, he is a long time sexuality educator/trainer and author of Streetwise to Sex-Wise: Sexuality Education for High Risk Youth, a sexuality education curricula used internationally by agencies and schools serving high-risk youth.